Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because air pollution in the capital, with many children suffering from permanantly stunted lungs and adults suffering a range of illnesses, including asthma, heart disease and lung cancer. London's Ultra Low Emission Zone is expanding again from August 29th 2023 to include a huge portion of Greater London.
The ULEZ is designed to improve air quality by reducing the number of vehicles in London that don't meet emissions standards. Following its introduction in 2019, 94% of vehicles seen driving in the zone now meet the strict ULEZ standards.
London currently has three main emissions zones: Central London's Congestion Charge Zone, Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and the Low Emission Zone (LEZ)/DVS.
As of August 29th 2023, the ULEZ will expand, meaning stricter fees for non-compliant vehicles.
The ULEZ has already been hugely successful in central and inner London, helping to reduce roadside pollution levels by 44 per cent in central London and 20 per cent in inner London. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan believes that all Londoners have the right to breathe clean air.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London has been in effect since April 2019. When it was first introduced, it followed the same map as the Congestion Charge. In October 2021, it was expanded to a larger portion of central London, with borders at (but not including) the North Circular Road (A406) and the South Circular Road (A205), protecting 4M Londoners from the health risks associated with high emissions.
After the changes on August 29th 2023, if you drive a vehicle that doesn't meet the emissions standards inside the expanded ULEZ, you could face a daily charge of £12.50. This includes residents of the ULEZ. However, you don't need to pay the ULEZ charge if you are parked inside the zone and don't drive. More details can be found on the TFL website.
You can check if your vehicle is ULEZ compliant here.
It is important to note that, at the time of writing, 96% of all vehicles in London are already ULEZ-compliant. When the scheme was first announced in 2017, only 39% of vehicles would have been compliant. Compliance in Outer London is already at 85%, before the expanded zone becomes a reality, suggesting that the standards encouraged by the ULEZ charge are, for the most part, achievable.
The new ULEZ policy already contains several components to ensure that disabled and low-income Londoners are not adversely affected. These include a £110m paid scrappage scheme to support low-income households, those with disabilities, charities, and small businesses to replace their non-ULEZ compliant vehicles. There will also be additional bus routes in the areas of expansion in order to cut down on road traffic between public transit stations.
There are three main considerations for your business if you operate inside any of these zones.
From 30 January 2023, Londoners receiving certain disability and means-tested benefits can apply to our car and motorcycle scrappage scheme and receive a grant payment, or a grant payment plus one or two Annual Bus & Tram passes. A separate van and minibus scrappage scheme will also be available for sole traders, micro-businesses (10 or fewer employees) and charities.
There will also be ULEZ support offers for successful scrappage scheme applicants as well as offers for all Londoners to take advantage of, whether eligible for a grant or not.
To help disabled Londoners and community transport providers prepare for the expansion, existing ULEZ grace periods (temporary exemptions) have been extended, and new grace periods will be introduced on 30 January 2023.
The £10 annual fee to register a vehicle for Auto Pay will be removed. Auto Pay lets drivers who register their vehicles avoid the risk of forgetting to pay the daily ULEZ charge and incurring a penalty charge.
The value of ULEZ and Congestion Charge penalty charges incurred will increase from £160 to £180 (reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days).
Don't worry, that's where we come in. We can help you and your business decide what solution is right for your fleet.